This week, we will deliver to weekly Late Summer Vegetable and Fruit members.
Winter Shares are available! - Although our Fall Shares are sold out, Winter Produce and Winter Egg shares are available right now. We farm throughout the winter months to offer you a variety of frozen, fresh and stored local foods grown by us and our farm partners. There are a limited number of winter shares, so sign up soon to reserve yours.
Over the past couple days, we welcomed visitors who were working on a story about Prairie Crossing and the farm.
After spending Sunday together, listening to the planning of our Monday work, our guests' excitement for the next day was palpable. It was a great reminder of the diversity of people, plants, projects and work that surround us every day.
On Monday morning, our guests arrived at 7am to experience the start of our day, the Team Meeting. They heard the overview of the day, and then jumped into learning more about each harvest and farm chore.
When the farm crew casually asked if our guests wanted to join the carrot harvest, they jumped at the opportunity. Despite the ever-present mosquitos, everyone's mood lifted and we all enjoyed the camaraderie of the harvest together. After this harvest, you could hear our guests excitedly talking about the tangible experience and what they were learning about how food is produced.
Over a potluck lunch together, we were further reminded of the power of sharing food with others. One of our guests was extremely grateful to enjoy his first home-cooked meal in over three years. Gathering people around a table and building a community around food is what drives all that we do.
We enjoyed the rest of the working day together, talking about small-scale, family farming and sharing our passion for local, responsibly-produced food. Our guests departed with an appreciation for Prairie Crossing, our daily farm work and a desire to share more meals together.
Here's to gathering around meals on your table!
Your farmers, Jeff, Jen and the farm crew
Notes from the Farm Kitchen
Kohlrabi, like broccoli and cabbage, is a member of the Brassica family and as such has a sweet and peppery flavor -- sweet like cabbage and peppery like a turnip. It has a wonderful crisp and juicy texture that is comparable to jicama. We like to peel it and eat it raw, sliced on its own or combined with other fresh vegetables in salads. I also like to puree into warm winter soups likethis soup. This week's kohlrabi is a storage variety which means that you can remove the top leaves and place the bulb into a plastic bag where it will store well for months. The greens are especially nice this year, and I like to chop up and add into a warm soup, or cook like a collard green or kale.
Abby Klug recommendedConcord Grapesfor this week's fruit shares, as they are one grape that the Klug's are known for. Given their quintessential grape-y flavor and short midwestern growing season, we cherish these dark purple grapes in late summer. Concords have a tender skin and they are seeded, however the seeds are edible. They store best when refrigerated with circulation (e.g., keep a plastic bag open or within a bowl or pint box).
Recipes and Ideas
Garlic Roasted Tomatoes- This recipe was shared with us by Noel C. from Oak Park, a long-time CSA Member. She says, "making roasted tomatoes is a great way to preserve your summer tomatoes. They freeze well and are great to use in paste sauce, soup and salsa."
6 Tablespoons olive oil (or 3 Tablespoons olive oil and 3 Tablespoons canola oil) 2 pounds tomatoes, cored and sliced 1/2" thick (cut in half if cherry tomatoes) 4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced 1/2 teaspoon salt
Heat oven to 325°F. Spread 2 Tablespoons of the oil in a 9x11" baking dish or similar sized casserole dish (I prefer using glass here, because the acid in the tomatoes can cause a metal baking pan to rust). Sprinkle half of the sliced garlic evenly over the oiled dish.
Spread the sliced (or halved) tomatoes evenly in the dish (you can overlap them if you need to). Sprinkle the salt evenly over the tomatoes, followed by the rest of the garlic and the remaining 4 Tablespoons of oil.
Roast the tomatoes for at least 1 hour, until the skins have become wrinkled and are just beginning to brown. Scoop the tomatoes from the oil, and allow them to drain slightly. You can use them immediately in pasta sauce or salsa, or refrigerate for up to 2 days, or place them in an airtight container or zipper bag to freeze.
Concord Grape Cornmeal Cake 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour; more for grapes 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 2 large eggs 1/2 cup sugar 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/4 cup vegetable oil 6 tablespoons buttermilk 2 tablespoons honey 1/2 pound Concord or black grapes, stemmed, seeds removed, divided
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8x8x2" baking dish. Whisk 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Whisk eggs, sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla in a large bowl to combine. Add oil and 2 tablespoons melted butter; whisk to blend. Whisk in flour mixture, then buttermilk. Stir in honey, being careful not to fully incorporate. Pour batter into prepared dish. Toss half of grapes with a large pinch of flour in a medium bowl until well coated. Scatter over cake batter. Bake until cake turns light golden brown around the edges and starts to set, 15-17 minutes. Remove from oven and scatter remaining grapes over cake. Continue to bake until top is golden brown and cake springs back when pressed, 20-25 minutes longer. Transfer to a wire rack. Let cool slightly in pan. Serve warm or at room temperature. (Source: Bon Appetit)
Next Week's Harvest(our best guess)...spaghetti squash, hakurei turnips, apples, swiss chard, pears, leeks and more!